Different Types of Brain Injury and Why They Must All Be Taken Seriously

Jun 4, 2014 — by Chris Olsen
Tags: Traumatic Brain Injury Personal Injury Auto Accidents

An accident victim is carried away on a stretcherInjuries of all kinds need to be taken seriously, which is why the lawyers here at Olsen Law Offices fight so diligently for accident victims throughout San Diego, no matter the circumstances. We know how difficult any sort of catastrophic injury can be, affecting your quality of life and even impacting your earning potential. A personal injury and car accident attorney from our firm will work closely with you, helping you obtain just compensation and allowing you to recover and move forward.

One especially troubling injury that a person may experience is a brain injury. We would like to focus on the nature of these sorts of injuries and what forms they may take.

What is a brain injury?

Broadly defined, a brain injury refers to any sort of physical trauma to a person that affects the brain. This could be a bump or blow to the skull (closed head injury), or an injury that involves the puncturing of the skull (open/penetrating head injury).

Brain injuries can have short-term or long-term affects on a victim's cognitive abilities, motor function, senses, and emotional/psychological state.

Common Causes of Brain Injuries

Some of the most common causes of brain injuries include:

  • Car accidents
  • Bike accidents
  • Assaults
  • Hard falls
  • Falling objects
  • Industrial workplace accidents
  • Contact/combat sports
  • Military combat injuries

Categories of Brain Injuries

There are a few different classifications of brain injuries to keep in mind. First of all, brain injuries may be considered either acquired or non-traumatic.

  • Acquired Brain Injury - Brain injury that is caused by external forces/trauma
  • Non-Traumatic Brain Injury - Brain injury caused by non-external factors, such as strokes, infections, or other medical conditions

Classifying the Severity of a Brain Injury

There are three different classifications of brain injuries based on their severity: mild, moderate, and severe. A concussion is generally considered an example of a mild brain injury, while a penetrating head injury is generally considered severe.

These levels of severity are determined by noting the duration of lost consciousness as well as any changes in an accident victim's consciousness. This is assessed using different criteria or a combination of different criteria, including the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), and loss of consciousness (LOC).

The Difference Between Primary Injury and Secondary Brain Injury

There are two kinds of injuries to consider following the trauma to the brain, primary and secondary.

  • Primary Brain Injury - This refers to brain tissue injuries that come as a result of the initial trauma, and may include brain hemorrhages as well as cuts or contusion on the brain.
  • Secondary Brain Injury - Secondary injuries are indirectly related to the initial trauma, occurring hours or even days after the injury was experienced. It's helpful to consider these secondary injuries as complications stemming from the primary injury, such as low oxygen in the brain, brain swelling, and low blood pressure.

While the initial trauma may prove fatal, it's important to note that a number of fatalities from brain injury occur as a result of secondary brain injury. This is why accident victims need to be carefully screened and monitored well after the initial incident occurred.

Speak with Our Personal Injury Attorneys

If you would like to learn more about brain injuries and your many options with regard to lawsuits following a serious accident, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you and your loved ones in your time of legal need.

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